LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Are social media breaking the monopoly MSM had on defining what was important in the world?

In a fascinating piece of writing that seamlessly moves between the “real” world of the news and the “real” world of television drama, Maureen Dowd picks up and expands upon, a stray comment from President Obama:

The murderous melee that ensues is redolent of President Obama’s provocative remark at a Democratic Party fund-raiser in New York, talking about the alarming aggressions flaring up around the world and alluding to the sulfurous videos of the social-media savvy ISIS fiends beheading American journalists.

“If you watch the nightly news,” the president said, “it feels like the world is falling apart.”

Trying to reassure Americans who feel frightened and helpless, he posited that “the truth of the matter is that the world has always been messy. In part, we’re just noticing now because of social media and our capacity to see in intimate detail the hardships that people are going through.”

Now this is a fascinating research subject. We all know the limitations of tweets and other social media. But is the real effect elsewhere: in bringing to the fore stories that would have been given due salience by Main Stream Media?

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